Yabacon Valley is dead. Long live Yaba Right


Like I said, and re-echoed by @gbengasesan, Yaba may not end up as the eventual cluster in Nigeria. Several clusters are springing up in some other places. Is it too early for any naming? I think so.
Are the suggested names comical? Yabacon, Yabacon Valley, YabaRight, Yabacon Strip. Well, read those out, and be the judge. Leave it as Yaba, and let things truly mature. You don’t just force these things. They happen naturally!

Oh and, since we are in the naming season, I nominate Yaba District. :smile:


Lagos will be the location. I hear gbenga mention places 100s of kilometer away from Lagos. I don’t buy it.

And Yaba is unique for a number of reasons, not as high priced as the island and well centered for Island - Mainland commute.

It already started there, and strongly I might add, others are taking cue.

And I wager our tech cluster will never be anything like the silicon. It will be characterized by the number not the value. Yaba will be known for a prolific cluster not combined value.

Successful startups will be spread all across Lagos. Again Lagos will be the location. Not buying any other location.


Random Guy: “So you are the founder of a fledgling startup in Nigeria. Tell me more about your company.”
Startup Founder: “We are disrupting the insurance industry by making information on policies across companies available at the click of a button. Users can then make informed decisions based on this, and pick a company they will be happy with.”
Random Guy: “Mildly interesting but go on.”
Startup Founder: “We just got an office space in Yaba Right to be closer to other technology companies in the area.”
Random Guy: “I’m sorry?”
Startup Founder: “We believe the proximity to the hub and Unilag will make us more accessible to devel…”
Random Guy: “No, Yaba Right?”
Startup Founder: “Oh that! It’s a term we fondly use to refer to the location, as a number of technology companies have sprung up at Yaba”
Random Guy: “So, ‘right’ because?”
Startup Founder: “There is an insane asylum in the area commonly referred to as Yaba Left and we thought it was funny.”
Random Guy: “A mad house? I’ll take it that it wasn’t given much thought and every one just ran along with this.”
Startup Founder: “Actually, we gave it some thought. We argued over a couple of variations of the name on social media for some time before we settled on this. It used to be referred to as Yabacon Valley at first.”
Random Guy: “Yabacon? After Silicon?”
Startup Founder: “Yes”
Random Guy: “Almost as unimaginative as your product”
Startup Founder: “Well, like I said it was the firs…wait, what?”
Random Guy: “Almost as unimaginative as your product”

I suck at ending fictitious conversations. :disappointed:


@akindolu You forgot to add “Yaba Left” to the suggested names. Credit goes to @Tola for that name. He mentioned it in response in a much earlier thread. When I read Yaba Right, my mind when straight to that mention he did. It was not until I went back to the thread that I was it was Yaba Left rather than “Right”.

It’s usually a futile exercise to try to predict the future. You just do your own part. Whatever becomes “the hub” and whatever name it is given, its all for our good. My thoughts.

UPDATE: Just learned that Yaba Left refers to an asylum in Yaba :smile:


Haha…Good ending by many standards.

I don’t think the conversation continued very well after that last part.


Narratives matter…Simple narratives matter even more. IF I were to tell my 7 year old son that there is a place in Nigeria named Yabacon Valley, he would immediately know what it was about…YabaRight? not so much. How about Silicon Yaba? Anyway,a s Gebngasesan pointed out, its a bit of a pointless argument. When the time is right, the name will come. In the meantime, let’s focus on building stuff.


There was Yaba left, now it’s Yaba Right, somebody would soon come again with Yaba Center or Yaba middle, ( I don’t mean to be sacarstic). It Won’t be so easy to ditch Yabacon valley for Yaba right.
Yaba Right doesn’t even sound like a place. :unamused:


I’ll just make this comment here so when this post is referenced in the future, I would say I didn’t make any outrageous predictions.


Well Done for picking that up. Unfortunately within my own personal clique we have always referred it to Yaba Left. Its evident from the comments that I made on this post way back in 2014!!! I have attached a screenshot that I will be taking to court when I am ready to start claiming royalties on the name :smiley: - All startups beware!!! :smiley: Now that you have made this public, you have just doubled the work for my lawyers!!! Damn!!! I guess I just still have to stick to my day job as an Agbero :frowning:


“Yaba Right”??? For real? Jesu!


Yaba Right == Yaba Left, Similarities anyone???
Ali: Hi Simbi i am going to yabaright to start my company.
Simbi: wow do you mean yaba left where “cool” pple stays?
Ali: No Simbi, yaba right is where MAD(Making a difference) pple stays, pple who want to change the world with technology.

YABARIGHT is cool though it tell who we are. Another part of me is saying it tells a story of some kind of civil right community or organization. LOL or what do you think???


Nice to see someone has same thoughts as I do about Akure.


I would bet against Yaba being anything other than a cluster of well financed Internet clones and wannabe silicon valley dreamers. Lagos with the space issues, bad transport high cost of property will tend to disperse its tech companies far and wide in the same way its multi billion bank headquarters are not found on the same street.

As far as tech goes I think what will drive it in Lagos are existing areas of strength. So anything finance, travel, hospitality, food, trade and media caters to all the big banks, investment houses, restaurants, hotels, airport, celebrities and huge population.

While lagos will inevitably attract successful startups the essential creative juices will come from other parts of Nigeria just like it has in the Nigerian movie and music industry. Indeed novel tech ideas have a better chance to spring from Owerri or Akure than overcrowded, expensive and elitist Lagos.


I agree with you on the Yaba not being the future tech hub point, but I honestly doubt it will be outside Lagos because talented people tend to gravitate to the areas with the most opportunities.

also the technology field cannot survive without other sectors and most of their activity in Lagos. I know Lagos is expensive but I think it has been exaggerated. Any flourishing tech company should be able to manage the costs.


Yes Lagos is a large market but it does not have a culture of creativity. Lagos imitates and distributes but is rarely innovative and further, its elitism is its greatest stumbling block to trying novel things.

Case in point is Nollywood Nigerias greatest non oil export in recent times. Lagos had a headstart in film, tv and theatre production in the 1970s yet the Nigerian home movie industry sprouted from onitsha traders and is shot everywhere today. Many of the actors and actresses came from Port Harcourt, Enugu, Owerri, Calabar and today ghana and South Africa. Yes actors and actresses gravitated towards lagos to cash in on their celebrity but did Lagos birth Nollywood or distribute it?

Tech which has less physical need for distribution will evolve even further away from Lagos. Nairaland for example is doing quite well based in Ibadan. Hotels.ng could have done equally well in its original home Calabar as in Lagos after all there is little physical need to interact with users of its service.

About talent gravitating towards opportunity, in the tech world opportunity could be a company based in Abuja or Kaduna or Enugu or Akure it doesnt have to be lagos and indeed when offered the opportunity to work in a place where going to and from home does not require a three hour marathon drive believe you me everywhere in Nigeria is already better than Lagos.


In other words: setup your startup HQ wherever you want in Nigeria but ensure your marketing/biz dev team work out of Lagos?


That could be a model but my main point is that while lagos is our biggest city, Nigeria is far far bigger than Lagos. There are 14 other cities with more than 1 million people in Nigeria, there are 30 mid sized cities outside Lagos. There are many more universities and technical colleges outside Lagos. 3G is available practically in most urban areas in Nigeria.

Lagos is only 30% of Nigeria’s urban population and anywhere between 15% and 25% of its GDP. This is why all the telcos did not start and stop in lagos. They rolled out fiber across Nigeria. Those building shopping malls are doing the same. Didn’t malls with shoprite as anchor open recently in Akure and Owerri?

In America that we like to copy you have tech companies all over. Amazon and Microsoft are based in Seattle, Groupon is based out of Chicago, akamai is in Boston, Netflix is in Los Angeles, and the list goes on.

So nothing stops a tech company from basing out of Kaduna or Ilorin or Warri. Nigeria is not Ghana or Kenya with single city models.


Quick question: What exactly is a “Yabacon”?


Didn’t you hear that Silicon was discovered at Yaba? In fact ARM built a factory there to mass produce thier processors which has led to a large influx of entrepreneurs to the area. Dude where on earth have you been?

  1. When you say Yabacon Valley to someone, do you explain to them that there isn’t a space between Yaba and con? You know, to avoid making it sound like a place where convicted criminals roam free.